Director of Social Work Finds Solutions At The Summit At Plantsville
March celebrates National Social Work Month. At Athena Health Care Systems, we want to recognize our Social Services Departments and all the work they do, the contributions they make, and the impact they have on our residents and staff. Throughout the month of March, you will meet some of the faces behind the social work departments across our centers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
PLANTSVILLE, C.T. — Marcia Marinaro said she took her mother’s advice about considering Social Work as a career and jumped right into the profession. During her time in college, she contacted St. Mary’s Hospital for an internship, loved everything about it, and never thought twice about her career path.
“I loved being part of the Interdisciplinary Team and I am passionate that it takes the whole Interdisciplinary Team to address residents’ concerns,” Marinaro said.
Marinaro has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Post University and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut. Marinaro began working at The Summit At Plantsville in 1990. Then two years later she was promoted to Director of Social Work and has been leading the Department of Social Work at the Connecticut center ever since.
“It’s the residents who need us and I love my residents,” she said. “We are helping them, and we are learning from them. Every day is a learning experience. The day you begin to stop learning is the day you stop working. We are always looking towards ways to enhance the service we are providing.”
Marinaro credits Athena Health Care Systems, which manages The Summit At Plantsville, for being a “forward-looking company.”
“Athena has been a great employer with wonderful policies and procedures. We have the tools in place and I’m grateful for that,” she said.
On an average day, you will find Marinaro walking the halls at The Summit, meeting with new admissions, following up with current residents, processing discharges, working on assessments, progress notes, and at the height of it, problem-solving with her Interdisciplinary Team, IDT for short. The IDT is made up of different departments at the center, including social work, nursing, administration, recreation, therapy, dietary, and others, which all work together to serve and meet the needs of the residents.
“Every piece of paper is a connection with a resident and their families, and we problem solve,” she said.
When residents come to any skilled nursing facility from their home setting, it is a major adjustment, she explains. The resident is no longer in their home and may now be sharing a room with someone other than their spouse, potentially for the first time in their life. Marinaro said she and her team work very closely together to address resident concerns, answer questions, and find solutions.
“When residents are admitted they are coping and going through a different lifestyle. They do lose a degree of independence and normalcy. We help them adjust to all the changes, like medical changes and the need for assistance. Someone who used to be independent now needs help,” she said.
One of the things the IDT does is host a Meet and Greet with new residents and their families following admission to help bridge the transition.
“I’ve had the opportunity to learn the job, duties, and responsibilities at a different pace throughout my career. I appreciate the processes and honed in my skills. You have to be able to adjust and move on from plans and find alternative solutions to help the residents,” she said.